How did the Ancient Romans celebrate the end of the year? Classicist Mary Beard comes bearing tales of the weird and the strikingly familiar as she describes some of the gifts that the Romans bequeathed to us.

But it’s not just the Romans, but also the Egyptians who have left their mark on our society today. American historian Robert Tignor reveals how the lands of the pharaohs and pyramids have helped to shape religious ideas and communities that dominated Europe for at least a thousand years.

And Ottoman thinker Philip Mansel explains how ports in the eastern Mediterranean created such free and flexible societies.
llustration: A different understanding of time across Mediterranean ports in different epochs by Emily Kasriel

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55 minutes

Last on

Mon 27 Dec 2010 01:05 GMT

Utopia: Mr More's Wondrous Islands

Thomas More  (POD IMAGE)  Credit: Getty Images

A celebration of Thomas More’s Utopia, published 500 years ago